Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings ★★★★★

If Marvel movies are theme parks, then Shang-Chi is that one park I would never want to leave. It's simply a respectful, heartfelt and splendid visual treat that proves once again mainstream action movies can have souls and cultural weights if right people are behind them.

Shang-Chi has everything going in its favor, thanks to the risks it takes and the obvious efforts and researches put into creating an authentic version of an incredible tale. A surprising amount of its dialogues are spoken in Mandarin, which is always a plus for a Hollywood production. The backstory of the fantastical side of things is actually quite fascinating and sensible, aided by top-notch special effects and various filming locations. The Asian cast members were simply awesome, especially the girls, Chen Fala with impressive emotional range, Michelle Yeoh fierce as always, and Awkwafina as the ultimate comic relief. The nice throwbacks to the Hong Kong gangster and kung fu classics are both intimate and well thought out, especially considering the inclusion of both Yeoh and Tony Leung in the cast, as they were once the mega stars of that craze.

Most of all, however, it's the grand visuals of the action sequences that floored someone like me who usually hate action movies with a passion, as there is a touch of emotional depth and visual complexity to it that's unparalleled in any other action blockbusters today.

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is for sure one of my favorites of 2021, and a testament to its cast and crew whose own understanding of their own cultural heritage and pride helps make this necessary Asian representation an instant classic. Highly recommended.

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